Welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins! Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the invitation!
About the Book:
Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.
From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, a new novel examining a family at the breaking point in all its messy, difficult, wonderful complexity.
The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters– Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.
Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.
Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad–and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she’s spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.
And now Barb and John will finally have to face what’s been going on in their marriage all along.
From the author of Good Luck with That and Life and Other Inconveniences comes a new novel of heartbreaking truths and hilarious honesty about what family really means.
Wow, this book. It really got under my skin!
Always the Last to Know has to be one of the most poignant family dramas I’ve read. It starts with a bang. John and Barb have been married over fifty years when John has an accident requiring brain surgery and an uncertain outcome.
You should know that Barb and John’s marriage is in a precarious state when this happens. Add in their daughters, Juliet, who is closest with her mom, Barb, and Sadie, closest with John. All the push and pull of family dynamics commences and because we hear from all four narrators, we get the nitty gritty thoughts that aren’t always pretty.
The part of preferred children actually hurt me to the bone. Whether it’s due to my own family dynamics, or the history of dynamics in my own extended families, or both, it was just OUCH. And Kristan Higgins nailed it all and that’s what made the book feel completely human and authentic.
Will John recover? Will Barb and John stay together? Will Sadie find love? Oh, and let me mention this- I loved how Higgins didn’t place a higher price on love that any other “accomplishment” for her characters. They were searching for all life had to offer, success in more than just one way only, through love, especially the daughters. That made them stronger in my eyes, and I loved the message.
Overall, this book completely threw me in its depth and subtleties. This one made me feel and with some sharp edges, which I didn’t mind because of the overall outcome of the story.
I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal , People and Booklist. Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.
The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.